Latest reviews by Danielle

(2015)
"Johnny Kelley Half Marathon - Gorgeous Cape Cod Coast Views!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Johnny Kelley Half Marathon was a nice small local (for me!) race that started and ended on the Hyannis Town Green. The course was a 13.1 mile loop around Hyannis that highlighted the gorgeous Cape Cod coastal views and neighborhoods.

Overall the Johnny Kelly Half was a great race experience, but it was definitely a small town race that lacked some of the amenities of larger races.

It was an open course which always makes me a little nervous, but the roads in general were not very busy most of the way and there was ample volunteer and police support along the course to help direct runners and traffic and I never felt unsafe while running (unlike another open course race where I almost got hit by a car!). I felt the volunteers at the finish area may not have been given much direction, the water stops were a little disorganized and I had trouble finding any sort of medical support at the finish when I was looking for a bandaid. That being said the course was nice, very flat and had great views so I wouldn't hesitate from doing this race again and would definitely recommend it especially if you are local!

Pros:
- parking, we found a spot right in the town hall lot and were parked about 200 feet from the finish line!
- real bathrooms at the start!
- easy for spectators to have a great view right at the finish!
- flat race course with great coastal views (and a nice breeze along the water!)
- the finish at the town green provided a great place to hangout and meet up with friends afterwards!
- since the town green is right on Main Street there were plenty of places to walk to eat right from the finish area
- there are plenty of places to stay walking distance from the start/ finish if you are traveling from out of town
- the race was $56 which I felt was a good value

Cons:
- water stops were unevenly spaced and a little disorganized but they did have both water and Gatorade
- I didn't see any on course medical support and I had trouble finding a medical tent or personnel at the finish when I needed a bandaid
- race shirt was a cheap cotton t-shirt that I'd most likely never wear

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2015)
"26.2 Miles of Magic!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Walt Disney World Marathon was my first marathon 3 years ago and I love it so much I've been back every year since!

These 26.2 miles take you through all 4 Walt Disney World parks plus the Speedway and ESPN Wide World of Sports - and along the way there are plenty of Disney characters and other entertainment.

I've always found the runDisney events to be well organized. There is bus transportation beginning at 3am (for the 5:30am start) from all on-property Disney resorts which drops you off right at the starting area - heads up though, once at the starting area there's about a 20 minute walk to the corrals (you'll pass plenty of porta-pottys along the way!). Once in the corrals, depending on where you are placed, it could take awhile to actually cross the starting line, so if you're a little farther back, be prepared for a bit of a wait (there are almost 27,000 people running!).

There aren't a ton of spectators our for this race except in certain areas (Magic Kingdom, along the resorts, Epcot), but along the course there are plenty of volunteers who are great and always ready with water, Powerade, medical support and high fives. Other aid stations include bananas, Clif products and my favorite, the wet towel stop - let me tell you that towel feels AMAZING during what's usually a hot & humid Florida race!

I never run Disney races for time, instead I have fun, stop and take pictures with characters and really take in the experience of running through the Disney parks. As someone who grew up coming to Disney with their family on vacation it's still amazing to me that I'm running a marathon through these same parks - honestly, I still can't believe I have so much fun running 26.2 miles!

Because of the relaxed environment, the Walt Disney World Marathon is a great choice for first time marathoners!

TIP: If you can wait, bypass the ports-pottys and wait to use one of the "real" bathrooms in the parks!

For A LOT more pictures feel free to read my full race recap on my blog: http://liverungrow.com/2015/01/18/2015-walt-disney-world-marathon/

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2015)
"2015 Walt Disney World Half Marathon"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I may be a little bias since I've always been a big Disney fan, but Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is hands down my favorite race weekend every year! This was my 4th year doing the full marathon and my third year doing the half marathon as part of the Goofy or Dopey Challenge.

The half marathon course goes through 2 of the 4 parks at Walt Disney World - the Magic Kingdom and Epcot - and along the way there are plenty of Disney characters and other entertainment to stop and take pictures with. I personally never run Disney races for time and always try to take advantage of character photos along the way!

The runDisney events are always very well organized, there is bus transportation from all of the on-property Disney resorts to the start area beginning at 3am, runners need to be on a bus by 3:30am to get in their corrals for the 5:30am start (the early start is so the majority of the race is complete by the time the parks open!).

There are plenty of aid stations with water and Powerade along the course (this year there was blue Powerade for the half and yellow for the full), and the medical tents are always well staffed. One of the best things about the runDisney events are the enthusiastic volunteers - while there may not be a lot of spectators along the way, you'll get plenty of high fives from volunteers (many wearing Mickey hands!).

This isn't a hilly course, and since it's a relaxed environment with many people stopping for pictures along the way it makes a great first half marathon (it was my husband's first this year!). My one complaint is that the course does narrow in a few spots and it tends to create a bottleneck, it's never bothered me that much since I'm not usually running for time, but I can see it being frustrating if you're trying to PR!

For more pictures feel free to see my race review on my blog: http://liverungrow.com/2015/01/15/2015-walt-disney-world-half-marathon/

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2014)
"Falmouth Jingle Jog"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

The Falmouth Jingle Jog was part of the town of Falmouth's Holidays by the Sea weekend. For $20 (pre-registered) we got a well organized 5k, a nice long sleeve t-shirt and some great post-race snacks, definitely a good value for a small local Saturday morning race!

Much of the 3.1 miles was along the shore with great views and even followed the Falmouth Road Race course for about half the race. There were about 200 people participating so it had a nice small community feel (not sure if some didn't show because of the cold & rain!) and most people wore festive holiday attire and costumes which was a lot of fun!

After the race there was hot chocolate, donuts, chowder and ice cream and the Holidays by the Sea activities continued with Santa pulling up on a boat (it is Cape Cod after all!) and carolers. Definitely a nice way to spend a Saturday morning with friends!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.
(2014)
"Wine & Dine Half Marathon (A Rainy 13.1!)"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

What can I say, I LOVE this race! 2014 was my 4th year in a row running the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

This race is unique in that it starts at 10pm, runs through 3 out of 4 of the Walt Disney World theme parks (Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios & Epcot) and finishes at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival which is open until 4am for runners and their guests (guests need to purchase a separate party ticket).

This race is well organized and in the past year I think runDisney has done a much better job of dividing up their starting corrals. I remember previous years being quite crowded and the lines for the characters getting very long, very quickly, but this year the course was wide open and I didn't wait in any character lines at all!

Unfortunately this year it downpoured the entire race, but it was still a great time and there were more characters out than I expected in the rain (granted I wish Disney would switch up the characters on the course instead of using the same ones in the same place as last year!). You also get to run through the Osborne lights during this race which is incredible to see any time, let alone running through it on an almost empty street!

I can't recommend this race enough, it makes for a great group trip!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.